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Home News > February 2020 > Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, but not today for Chile

Day 2 of the Sommelier Wine Awards has kicked off with some unusual suspects coming in with strong performances. The unexpected star of the day was Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, namely from the Leyda Valley.

The Leyda whites really surprised our judges with their refined style, which stood head and shoulders above the other Sauvignon Blancs tasted from Chile. Head of Judging, Christine Parkinson, commented: 'that the wines had really moved up a gear'. Stylistically, the Leyda Sauvignon Blancs tasted today would fare well against the renowned New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, at similar price points.

Wines closer to home were also celebrated, Competition Chairman, Chris Losh noted: 'today was another great day for France'.

Alsace wines were consistently good across all grape varieties. It appears the region couldn’t put a foot wrong today. The judges were so pleased with the wines tasted, that they were left wanting even more Alsace entries, to see a wider variety from the region. Christine remarked: 'that this year’s entries from Alsace proved exactly why they are popular amongst sommeliers'.

Another French region that performed exceptionally well today was Chablis. Chris claimed that if he had to choose one star of the day he’d have been hard pushed not to give the title to Chablis. The wines were of a high standard across the board, and across the varying price ranges, which is no mean feat for the unforgiving cold climate.

After Northern Italy was commended yesterday, it’s great to see Southern Italy giving the north a run for its money today. With Christine exclaiming that it is ‘Italy’s year’. It was Sicily in particular that shone, demonstrating more exuberant fruit and control this year, reining in the big oak and alcohol which was noted as their Achilles’ heel, and softening the baked notes which were often synonymous with the Italian islands.

Finally, two countries that are often overshadowed by their refreshing whites but came out triumphantly today, were the Greek and Hungarian reds. The reds from both countries were on point today and were praised for their quality.